Puffy Clouds and Hurricanes: HAPPY 4th OF JULY!

July 3rd.  As I drove down to Chicago to catch a flight back east for the holiday, I took in the sunshine, blue skies, and green farmland surrounding me. My mind wandered from my excitement for fireworks and the 4th of July, to how lucky we are to live in a country which, despite its many issues, provides us with the freedom to think and act freely, to how unique the US of A is in terms of its diversity of geographies, religions, cultures - you name it! - to my summer with Bike and Build back in 2007 (crazy that was SEVEN years ago! Jeez, time flies!).

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That summer, I rode my bike from Portsmouth, NH to Vancouver, BC with 29 other college students to raise money and awareness for affordable housing. I experienced first hand so many different pockets of the country – and what a patchwork of big cities, little towns, farmland, lakes, and mountains it is! Of course, this diversity came back to bite me when, despite the perfect weather in Chicago, flights were cancelled into Newark due to severe thunderstorms and Hurricane Arthur’s approach. How inconvenient (grumpy face).

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July 4. My bike and I made a flight to Newark Liberty (phew!), so I thought I’d take a minute to share some of the incredible memories and different sides of our glorious country from that summer - from east coast to west - in honor of the 4th… plus a few extras from our weekend… it turned out to be quite the 4th (and 5th) of July in Buck Hill Falls this year!

Hope everyone had a safe, fun holiday!

Portsmouth, NH: Back wheels in the Atlantic

Portsmouth, NH: Back wheels in the Atlantic

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Woodstock, VT: lambies!

Woodstock, VT: lambies!

VT: crazy bike!

VT: crazy bike!

PA Border: had to include this for Ad!

PA Border: had to include this for Ad!

Niagara Falls, NY: crossing the border to Canada for an afternoon adventure!

Niagara Falls, NY: crossing the border to Canada for an afternoon adventure!

Cleveland, OH: Sunset on Lake Erie

Cleveland, OH: Sunset on Lake Erie

Middle of Nowhwere, IN: lunchtime!

Middle of Nowhwere, IN: lunchtime!

WI: farmland!

WI: farmland!

Bemidji, MN: Hometown of Paul Bunyan

Bemidji, MN: Hometown of Paul Bunyan

Ice Cream: universally loved in every town and city of America

Ice Cream: universally loved in every town and city of America

Day off to work with Habitat!

Day off to work with Habitat!

Rugby, NH: Geographical Center of NA... who knew?!

Rugby, NH: Geographical Center of NA... who knew?!

ND: state fair grounds!

ND: state fair grounds!

ND/MT: cornfields!

ND/MT: cornfields!

MG: Hay Barrels...

MG: Hay Barrels...

... more hay barrels....

... more hay barrels....

and more hay barrels!!

and more hay barrels!!

MT: first day in the mountains!

MT: first day in the mountains!

Glacier National Park, MT: Food storage bin

Glacier National Park, MT: Food storage bin

Glacier National Park, MT

Glacier National Park, MT

Wauconda Pass, WA

Wauconda Pass, WA

Vancouver, BC: made it to the Pacific!

Vancouver, BC: made it to the Pacific!

Fireworks in Buck Hill!

Fireworks in Buck Hill!

4th of July festivities/photo shoots

4th of July festivities/photo shoots

A beautiful lake and no swimming allowed?! Abomination!

A beautiful lake and no swimming allowed?! Abomination!

Fireworks in all aspects of life this weekend (ad never noticed my big Klockner knuckles haha)

Fireworks in all aspects of life this weekend (ad never noticed my big Klockner knuckles haha)

We quickly found out we are a lost cause when it comes to real photo shoots....

We quickly found out we are a lost cause when it comes to real photo shoots....

Ad announces us to the world?

Ad announces us to the world?

This pic says it all... ready to take on the world with Ad by my side!

This pic says it all... ready to take on the world with Ad by my side!